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This House of Grief
This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial | Helen Garner
Winner, Ned Kelly Awards, Best True Crime, 2015 A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, 2014 On the evening of 4 September 2005, Fathers Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garners obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict. In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice. This House of Grief is a heartbreaking and unputdownable book by one of Australias most admired writers. Helen Garners first novel, Monkey Grip won the 1978 National Book Council Award, and was adapted for film in 1981. Since then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism. In 1995 she published The First Stone, a controversial account of a Melbourne University sexual harassment case. Joe Cinque's Consolation (2004) was a non-fiction study of two murder trials in Canberra. In 2006 Helen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature. Her most recent novel, The Spare Room (2008), won the Victorian Premiers Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premiers Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages. Helen Garner lives in Melbourne. This House of Grief (Text) is a gripping account of a murder trial in which few of the participants act and react in ways we might predict. Its an examination not just of what happened, but also of what we prefer to believe and what we cannot face believing. Julian Barnes, Books of the Year, TLS Helen Garners account of the trial is a non-literary variation of Truman Capotes In Cold Blood (1966). Eileen Battersby, Books of the Year, Irish Times Helen Garner is an invaluable guide into harrowing territory and offers powerful and unforgettable insights. This House of Grief, in its restraint and control, bears comparison with In Cold Blood. Kate Atkinson As involving, heart-rending and unsettling a read as you could possibly find, a true-life account of three deaths and a trial that leaves you with a profound sense of unease as its drama unfolds, and disturbing questions about how we judge guilt and innocence. The Times This House of Grief is a magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart...If you read nothing else this year, read this story of the sorrow and pity of innocents drowned and the spectres and enigmas of guilt. Peter Craven, Weekend Australian [Garner] has turned a courtroom drama into something deeply human. Jennifer Byrne, Australian Womens Weekly It grabbed me by the throat in the same way that the podcast series Serial did. Ms. Garner brilliantly and compassionately recounts the harrowing, real-life trial of Robert Farquharson. Gillian Anderson, Wall Street Journal, Books of the Year 2015
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JennyM
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Farquharson's wife left him for another man and, one year later, he drove his three children into a dam killing then. A #JealousGuy can do horrible things ❣️

#NovFemmeber

Cinfhen I‘ve always wanted to read Helen Garner ~ I hear she׳s excellent at true crime writing 4y
JennyM @Cinfhen she‘s brilliant, and this book is so good, but sad. 4y
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Sue
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Pickpick

One of my recent #aussiesrule2018 reads for prompt 3 (true crime or tragedy.) In her inimitable style, Helen Garner turns her discerning pen to the trial of Robert Farquharson who, in 2005 drove his car, which had his three young sons in it, into a lake. He was the only survivor. An incredibly sad story of male violence against women and children, this book has been compared to Truman Capote‘s In Cold Blood.

GatheringBooks and it is written by a female author! stacking this one. 5y
Sue Garner is a bit of an Aussie institution @GatheringBooks . I‘ve been a fan since I picked up Monkey Grip for uni back in the 90s. 5y
emilyhaldi I've been wanting to read this for a while!!! 5y
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broughtyoubooks
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Covering this in one of my research courses, it was interesting in that I haven't read anything of this sort before, and enjoyed reading it, though the crime is haunting. Garner evokes sympathy without forcing the reader to tears, and covers the court case without putting the reader to sleep.

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Recallbook
Pickpick

Compelling read. Hard to tell whose side the writer was on allowing an objective and a strangely narrative description of the trial. I remember this horrifying story in the media-this was compounded for me in the book. It is gripping, complex and insightful into the craziness of human nature and the love that binds us especially when children become involved. Sad, tragic and true story. Helen Garner seems to have grasped the truth amidst it all.

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Simona
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Mehso-so

Sad story with a few dramatic twists, but unfortunately boring in some parts. Content is centered on the trial, the presentation of the evidence and is laced with author‘s personal observations, detailed descriptions of the people present in the courtroom, which doesn‘t bring surplus value to the story. My impression is that the author wanted to highlight the question-how can you love a killer, or how long you can stand on his side.Hard to answer.

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Joanne1

I read this true crime book a couple of years ago. It's written by an amazing Australian writer and focuses on a father who killed his three young sons by driving them into a damn. It's harrowing by also incredibly insightful. #SEEWHATIHAVEWON @Liberty

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Jeg
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Article in the Weekend Australian.

MrsMalaprop Thanks for reminding me. Brett told me about it yesterday. 👏😊 6y
Sue Cool! 6y
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Steph_EE
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Pickpick
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Rhondareads

Australian author Helen Garners award winning unputdownable true crime novel.A separated father a drive with his kids in the car an accident he plunges off the road into the water he survives the kids drownHelen Garner becomes obsessed with this case attends the trial daily.Was it an accident or murder ?

Sue I remember this case, but I didn't know this book was a thing. Onto the TBR it goes. 6y
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Lauracastle
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Pickpick

CW: child homicide and suicide. There were some fascinating and beautiful insights into the trials and the key players. Unfortunately, other "insights" were trite. Similarly, at times the writing was incredible and others it was disjointed. Still, for me, the positive outweighed the negative.

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Lauracastle
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"When I first came into court today, I was filled with wave after wave of rage. You see this is what these men do. This is the most appalling, savage, cruel revenge a man can take on a woman - to make out it was all her fault."

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Lauracastle
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I'm not sure what I think of "This House of Grief." It's interesting, but I'm not really enjoying the writing style. Perhaps I'm just still consumed by the exquisiteness of The Red Parts.

Lindy I really liked Garner's style in The Spare Room. I've been meaning to read her memoir. 6y
Lauracastle @Lindy The Spare Room sounds really interesting. Maybe I will give it a go once I've finished This House of Grief (and had enough time to properly recover from The Red Parts, to be fair to Garner 😉) 6y
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Kristianne
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I read this like I listened to the podcast Serial; obsessively. Did he do it?

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